Main Content

Back to Blog List

4 Steps to Tackling Procrastination
  • 21 June 2017
  • Eric Michaels

4 Steps to Tackling Procrastination

While many people may struggle with the urge to procrastinate throughout the workday, the stakes are often highest for business owners. After all, growing companies cannot afford to lose a client or maintain low productivity levels. Whether you are a solopreneur looking to become more accomplished or a business owner hoping to motivate your workforce, there are a variety of tactics you can use to combat the tendency to put things off. Here are four steps to tackling procrastination.

1. Create distance from distractions

Throughout the day, everyone faces a slew of distractions that can make it easy to waste time: It might be the radio playing in your office, the constant flow of e-mails in your inbox or your buzzing social media alerts. In an effort to get more out of your time, you should identify what distracts you and strategize on how you can overcome these obstacles. Here are some common distractions and ways to sidestep them:

  • Music and TV

    Try to work in rooms in which no media is playing. If your staff works better with music on, close the door to your office whenever possible. Noise-canceling headphones can help you keep out these types of distractions, as well.

  • E-mail and social media

    Try your best to limit the amount of time you spend checking and responding to e-mails and social posts—these short breaks can add up to a lot of time wasted throughout the day. Unless you are communicating with an important client exclusively by e-mail, you can probably wait a few hours before you craft a response. After all, interrupting a task to answer an e-mail makes the process take much longer. Use the same approach for social media: Try to only check your account once a workday, and keep yourself logged out to avoid alerts.

  • Lunch time

    While daily work breaks can actually help you be more productive, taking a long lunch every day can qualify as procrastination. In an effort to avoid this time drain, you should try to pack a lunch from home whenever possible.

2. Reduce the size of tasks

If you start out in the morning looking at a mountain of work, chances are you will find ways to avoid this massive commitment. In an effort to help yourself succeed, you should try to break down the job into small tasks. Instead of trying to write a novel, start with a chapter. Rather than write an entire business plan, begin with the first page. Working on projects with lighter volumes help you to avoid burnout and allows you to accomplish more in the end. Most importantly, there are no excuses for avoiding small tasks.

3. Delegate unwanted tasks

Sometimes people procrastinate simply because they do not want to do the job at hand. Rather than analyzing why you have no interest in filing employee taxes or reading through job applications, delegate the job to someone better suited for it. There may be someone in your office who likes crunching numbers or evaluating potential hires. These employees would not mind the task and should take it over from you—if they are qualified to do so. If you have no one on staff who is well-suited to handle this responsibility, consider outsourcing the work to freelancers in the industry.

4. Make your goals public

You might find it easy to rationalize why you are procrastinating when no one else knows about it. When you do not answer to anyone, there is hardly any shame to missing a deadline. However, things change when you go public. Consider these three approaches to accountability:

  • State your goal to employees at a meeting

    When other people in your workplace know what you are working toward, you will have an added incentive to deliver.

  • Post your plan on the company website or social account

    Once the public knows, you will want them to continue holding your brand in a positive light.

  • Tell friends and family

    Even if you do not like discussing work in your free time, this acknowledgment to people close to you will keep you on your toes.

By following the above steps to tackling procrastination, you can motivate your entire team to get the most out of their workday.

Back to Blog List